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Master of Business Administration (MBA)


About the MBA Program

Program Overview

Location: Biltmore Park and Online

Flexible delivery, affordable program

Full-Time or Part Time

App. Deadline: Apr. 1/Aug. 1, Dec. 15

36 Credit Hours, 16-32 Months

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A More Flexible MBA - We aim to maximize flexibility for the western North Carolina region's working professionals.

Virtual Open House

Tuesday, August 6, 2024: 5-6:30 p.m.

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

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Hybrid Schedule - In Person and Online

  • Four core courses (two per night) offered on Wednesday & Thursday nights, 5:45pm-7:20pm and 7:35pm-9:10pm
  • Capstone course offered in final semester on Tuesday nights, 5:45pm-7:20pm
  • Meeting in person, on average, every other week - 8 in person sessions per semester
  • All in person meeting sessions are at WCU's instructional site in south Asheville (Biltmore Park)

Most working professionals will enroll in 2 classes per semester, meeting in person just one night per week, every other week (on average). Remaining coursework will be completed in an online learning environment and through class projects (often consulting with area businesses to tackle real-world business challenges).

Specializations: Students may also choose to select three elective courses (9 credit hours) in a single subject area of their interest and choosing, to create a focus area for their MBA.

Our MBA curriculum was designed in collaboration with employers in western North Carolina, WCU College of Business faculty, and recent MBA graduates. Our students exit the program Business Ready® to meet the employment needs of aspiring graduates and the regional business community.

Courses are led by academically qualified Ph.D. faculty and the program boasts participative engagement with regional businesses through tours, internships, and guest speakers, adding highly valued networking opportunities to the classroom experience.

Classes are offered in the evenings in Asheville and online to support both full-time enrollment and working professionals who need to attend part-time. Each class combines the online learning environment with in-person class sessions to maximize flexibility. Most part time students will only need to attend classes on 1 night per week, every other week or so. Our 36 semester hour curriculum (no prerequisites required) can be completed in 4 semesters full-time and 6 semesters part-time (for working professionals).

Our program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the internationally recognized accrediting agency for business schools.

Prerequisites: There are no required prerequisite courses, but strong analytical and communications skills are required. An intensive pre-MBA "Boot Camp" program is required for incoming students and is offered over seven evenings each August, covering the basics in accounting, economics, and Excel.

The program leading to the Master of Business Administration degree requires the completion of 36 semester hours at the graduate level. A minimum average GPA of 3.0 must be met in all MBA core courses to satisfy degree requirements.

The curriculum focuses on the unique challenges in our regional economy, the need for global competitiveness, and the application of knowledge. The program consists of a 27 hour core and nine hours of electives. With advisor approval, the nine hours of electives can be chosen such that a specialized concentration is developed. Electives may be taken from the following College of Business graduate programs: project management, sport management and entrepreneurship, as well as other university programs or AACSB accredited institutions (up to 6 transfer credit hours may be accepted). Other elective options are available with advisor approval.

The core consists of:

MBA 623 Accounting: Understanding Performance & Informing Decisions
The study of how accounting information is used to both evaluate management and firm performance as well as provide valuable information to inform managerial decisions.

MBA 625 Applied Business Economics
Apply theory to help frame challenges faced by individuals and firms.  Articulate relationship between market structure and power, offer innovative solutions to market function challenges.

MBA 627 Applied Business Analytics
An introduction to decision making using descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive approaches. Topics included are data visualization, regression models, optimization models and decision analysis.

MBA 631 Human Resource Management
Managing human assets and liabilities, including employment, labor rules, dispute resolution, and employee benefits.

MBA 635 Managing Value-Creating Business Operations
Processes, problems, and strategies related to the creation of products and services.

MBA 637 Financial Management and Valuation
Provides a framework for analyzing financial management and investment decisions.  Develops practical tools for decision-making and valuation in a global and dynamic financial environment.
Prereq: MBA 623, MBA 625, MBA 627

MBA 639 Information Systems for Competitive Advantage
Managing IT strategy, emerging technologies, regulatory requirements and security.  Finding innovative solutions to IT challenges.

MBA 641 Marketing Management
Managing marketing strategy, product positioning, product, channels, communications, pricing strategies, and marketing research.  Developing innovative strategies to respond in the international marketplace.

MBA 643 Integrative Strategic Management
Capstone course designed to bridge other elements of the entire program culminating with best practices to be an effective organizational leader.
Prereq: Completion of 24 or more hours of MBA core curriculum courses.

Students may, but are not required to, choose to take their 3 required elective courses in a single subject area to create a specialization with their MBA degree.

Specializations include:

Accounting (with a bachelor's degree in Accounting)
Construction Management
Engineering Technology
Health Care Administration
Non-profit Management
Professional and Technical Writing
Project Management
Sport Management

...and more!

Looking for more information about WCU's MBA Program? Click the link below to gain access to the online brochure.

Required Admission Materials:

  • Online application form
  • $65 application fee
  • Resume
  • Goal statement: In an essay or cover letter format (your choice), please tell us about your interest in our MBA program. We would like to know about your professional and/or personal goals and how you expect the MBA program will help you achieve them. The ideal length is usually no less than a half page, and no more than 2 pages.
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Transcript showing an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US institution of higher learning
  • Official test scores - GMAT or GRE are accepted (this requirement may be waived due to work experience, academic history - Waiver Request Form)

We recommend a minimum 3.0 GPA, minimum 450 GMAT score, and a minimum 300 GRE score. The standardized test score may be waived for those applicants who have already completed a master’s degree or with certain work experience based on the program director's discretion.

International applicants should visit the Graduate School's international applicant web site for additional requirements.

Graduate Assistant Application Deadline: April 1 for fall admission

Total Tuition & Fees* (Fall 2024-Spring 2025, per semester)
Graduate Business Student (Full-Time - based on at least 9 credit hours, 3 classes*)

  • In-State  $5,570.28
  • Out-of-State $11,379.78

Graduate Business Student (Part-Time - based on 6 credit hours, 2 courses)

  • In-State $2,536.92
  • Out-of-State $6,409.92

*Fees include $1,182.28 for Health Insurance Fee which may be waived by verifying coverage at Student Health Insurance

*Most full-time MBA students take 12 credit hours (4 classes)

You can view the most up-to-date tuition and fee rates by visiting, selecting graduate tuition, and looking at the graduate business line or downloading the tuition and fees spreadsheet and finding the Master of Business Administration section.

Financial Aid
FAFSA is the primary source of financial aid for our students. Students seeking any kind of financial aid are encouraged to apply early. Additional information about financial aid is available from the Graduate School and the Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Graduate Assistantships are awarded in April for the following academic year. Therefore, students enrolling in January are unlikely to receive an assistantship. Students are encouraged to apply by November 15 for the following fall if seeking an assistantship. Current full time students are also eligible for Graduate Assistantships and should notify the MBA office of their interest as soon as possible before April for the following fall. Graduate Assistantships are allocated by the Graduate School, and sometimes include partial or full waivers for tuition costs. The MBA program office assigns Graduate Assistantships within the College of Business each semester.

College of Business Scholarships
The Freda Russell Rayburn Graduate Scholarship is available to full time, female graduate business who are switching to business from an unrelated field. The amount of this scholarship varies.

The Wayte Scholarship is awarded to graduate business students who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. The amount of this scholarship varies.

Other Scholarships and Grants

In addition, there are a limited number of University Scholarships and Graduate School tuition awards. Students should plan to apply for scholarships by early February for university-wide scholarships and grants awarded for the next academic year.

The Western Carolina University College of Business isn’t just about academics.  It’s also about students.  The WCU Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) was formed with this idea in mind.

Encompassing all of the graduate business programs, the association serves many purposes.  This includes providing a networking tool for current students, alumni, and Western North Carolina businesses, a social outlet for students and faculty, as well as a support system.  The association plays an integral role in planning activities that add value to an individual’s graduate education.  In the past, the association has helped students get jobs, brought in speakers, played a part in fundraising for the business school, taken part in community service projects, and planned many fun events.

Previous GBSA events include tours and executive meetings at Harrah’s Casino and the Cancer Center at Mission Hospital.

If you would like to get involved or have any questions, please feel free to contact the association through their Facebook page.

The MBA Advisory Board enriches MBA experience for students through engagement with the leadership of the program (both administration and faculty), MBA student teams working on commercial projects, and the individual students themselves.  The Board helps to facilitate the continual improvement of the program toward meeting the ever-changing needs of regional and local industry.


The MBA-AB provides advice and recommendations to the MBA Administration and faculty on a broad spectrum of business topics and issues including:

  • Regional demand and opportunities for MBA graduates and interns

  • Needed skills and training for the employment of MBA graduates

  • Current business practices of regional employers

  • Recent trends and conditions in regional industries

The MBA-AB will provide resource and engagement opportunities for MBA students and faculty in areas including: 

  • Tours and visits to regional business sites

  • Speakers in special areas of expertise not otherwise available

  • Facilitation of MBA internships and project opportunities

  • Contacts and relationship networking for employment opportunities
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